There are seasons in life and ministry. We are entering a new season and are simultaneously excited and anxious. Before you ask, "Does this mean a major change in direction and ministry?" the answer is "no". We have always tried to have the answer of "yes" on our lips and hearts before God ever reveals what He asks us to do. There are two prayers that are a slam-dunk for God: "God, you get the glory" and "God help us to be found obedient." He wants each of these to occur.
So after our first stint of living 4+ years in Gent, God gives us the opportunity to tell people in America more about what He is and wants to do there.
After getting from Gent, through Houston (a big thanks to Lucy's family for all the help in that transition) and on to north Florida we are now ready to begin the journey. We spent the last couple of days getting settled into an efficiency apartment provided by friends, seeing John's mother, Megan and Justin and getting all the things together for our display. (Well almost, another trip to the store for more laminating and supplies is on tap for today). Thanks to our great friend and supporter "C" for getting much ready before we arrived.
Tomorrow we set out for our first week-long trip that includes a 5-day missions conference in South Carolina. This particular church has been doing these for a while and has it well organized. We get to speak with adults, youth, children and preschoolers during the week. This will be done in small and large groups; at church and in homes; formally and around the tables more informally.
The concern is, "How do we accurately communicate what He wants them to hear and know about Him and His work in Gent?" We do not want the focus to be on us (the missionaries) but on Him. Too often we get the focus and are seen as something other than what we are, cracked clay pots that too often leak and sometimes tarnish the glory entrusted to us.
So what do we pack and take for "show and tell" with the preschoolers? How can we help to continue to give a global vision to children? How can we encourage youth who are ready to engage in a career choice to seek God's Kingdom first in any choice? And how can we help adults to be on-mission in an Acts 1:8 model? What can you "take" with you to help communicate?
So, today is a day of choices. What to pack and what to leave behind? What will aid in telling His story and what is just candy for the eye and ear? Never having done this before, the decisions are challenging. We have and there is so much but when does it become a focus on the stuff and not on Him?
Pray for us to be better pots. We would rather let Him overflow from our lives than leak out through the cracks. We want to tell about all He is doing but only have a limited time. How do you tell about a great God in 10-30 minutes?
As a colleague of mine often asks, "Pray that we will make much of Him" during this time. It has to be about Him since we have little clue about anything else. But, do we really need to have a clue about anyone other than Him?
To be continued . . .